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  • Writer's pictureKaren Seiger

Reflections on the Chocolate Show in Time for Valentine’s Day

Honestly, I had the impression that the Chocolate Shows were for tourists. Even the one in Paris, with its gigantic subway ads and enticing images. But then I looked into it a bit more, and I thought maybe I should give it a chance. So this year, I went. And I’m here, as a massive chocoholic, to tell you that it was an incredible experience.

I arrived at a peak hour on Saturday, and the crowd was pretty big. But that just made me focus and scout out the chocolate companies I really wanted to see. I was pleased and thrilled to see some of the finest chocolatiers in the world all under one roof.

Through my friend and chocolate maker Matt, I met the incredibly talented French chocolate maker from Roanne, François Pralus. I’ve tried is wonderful Pyramide des Tropiques collection of dark chocolates from around the world at Murray’s Cheese. The packaging is so lovely that you hardly want to break into the chocolate, but definitely do! I took home two hefty bars of dark and milk chocolate filled with hazelnuts and praline that were out completely of this world.

Lyonnais chocolatier Bernachon was there too with their perfectly shiny and wonderful bars, as well as their signature gold-flecked bonbons. Lucy Vanel, an American living in Lyon and author behind the wonderful blog, Lucy’s Kitchen Notebook, graciously introduced us to Bernachon while we were visiting Lyon a few years ago. Again, the chocolates are almost too beautiful to eat. Almost.

It was also wonderful to see New York market based companies at the chocolate show, including Roni-Sue’s Chocolates. Chocolatier Rhonda Kave of the Essex Street Market was happily providing samples of her famous BeerCrunch and even more famous Pig Candy. Spices & Tease, from their new home in the Grand Central Market, featured a chocolate-related tea collection and other spices that go with sweet and savory chocolate dishes.

The tiny golden-bellied chocolate Buddha pictured came to us from Indiana, handmade by Chocolate for the Spirit in Shelbyville.  Des Lis Chocolat creates gorgeous and unique bonbons flavored with poppy flower petals.  Their poppy flower petal jelly also caught my eye at the Chocolate Show. Rounding out my experience were the rich and exotic almond paste-filled Babouche au Chocolat from La Gazelle D’Or in Paris and Casablanca. And finally, I washed it all down with my old friends, the huge, decadent, scrumptious chocolate chip cookies from Jacques Torres.

These are just a few of the 65+ exhibitors at the Chocolate Show in New York. Is it for tourists? Sure! Is it for New Yorkers with a passion for rich, sweet, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate and lots of it? Definitely! I was impressed, I was happy, and I spent a lot of extra time at the gym afterwards.

Will I go back next time? Absolutely! [nggallery id=117]


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